Outgoing BDA President warns MPs of dangers of antimicrobial resistance

Outgoing BDA President warns MPs of dangers of antimicrobial resistance

In her last public engagement before leaving office as BDA President, Dr Susie Sanderson gave a presentation at an event organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dentistry and Oral Health and co-hosted by the APPGs on Pharmacy and Antibiotics. It gave members of Parliament and Peers a chance to question a panel of experts in antimicrobial resistance across the main fields of primary care.

Antimicrobial resistance is arguably the gravest threat to public health both here in the UK and worldwide. 25,000 people die each year in Europe from sepsis caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria and failure to tackle this growing problem could lead to many routine medical interventions becoming life-threatening in the decades to come.

The need to reduce antibiotic prescribing in dentistry was addressed by Susie who said: “Facing up to the danger presented by antibiotic resistance will require urgent and coordinated action between policymakers, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders. So, I was delighted to get this opportunity to address MPs and Lords at an oral evidence session in Parliament this week on what has and needs to be done in dentistry to reduce antibiotic prescribing. 

“It was great to see this event so well attended by Parliamentarians, with attendees including a Shadow Health Minister and a former Secretary of State for Health – a sign, I hope, that this issue is finally getting the cut-through it deserves on the political arena. My fellow panellists and I agreed that it was crucial there was consistency of messaging across the health service on this issue, and the need to educate patients on when antibiotics are needed and the dangers of their inappropriate or unnecessary use.

“As dentists, we need support from politicians and other health professionals in spreading the message that antibiotics do not cure toothache, which almost always requires operative treatment.”

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